Crapo Favorites

I asked my staff about their favorite places to take family and friends who visit Washington, D.C., and have compiled their recommendations here. I've also included why the site is recommended.

Arlington Cemetery
(703) 607-8000
8am-7pm April 1-September 30

8am-5pm October 1-March 31
No tickets needed, although tour bus services operate throughout the day. Tickets are required for the tour bus.

The somber sight of hundreds and hundreds of white crosses lined up across a green lawn is a striking visual and brings into sharper focus the debt of gratitude owed to our nation's military heroes. It’s no surprise that it’s called “our nation’s most hallowed ground.” Final resting place of President John Kennedy and thousands of American servicemen and women. The Changing of the Guard occurs on the hour each hour October through March, then occurs every half-hour April through September; one of my staff members describes The Changing of the Guard as "awesome." Tour bus services operate throughout the day; tickets can be purchased for the bus at the cemetery.

"The Awakening" by J. Seward Johnson Jr.

This 70+ foot long aluminum statue of a giant embedded in the earth, struggling to free himself, was created in 1980. It was part of the International Sculpture Conference Exhibition. For a time, the statue was positioned at Hains Point, East Potomac Park near the National Mall, but has since moved to the National Harbor in Prince George's County, Maryland.

Ford's Theatre / Petersen House
(202) 426-6924
511 10th Street, NW (between E and F Streets), Washington, DC

Ford's Theatre and museum: 9am-5pm daily; closed December 25
Petersen House: 9am-5pm daily; closed December 25
Timed entry tickets, available at the site, are required to tour the Theatre; tickets can be reserved online. Admission charged for play performances.

The site of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in April of 1865 has been open to the public since 1968. The building itself has a colorful history, having started as a Baptist church. After Lincoln’s assassination, the theatre was closed, but served intermittently as a museum, office space and storage facility. A restoration effort started in 1954 brought the theatre back, and theatrical events still performed on its stage. At the museum located in the theatre, you will find artifacts related to the assassination, including the gun and knife used by John Wilkes Booth in the attack.

The Petersen House, where the mortally-wounded Lincoln was taken after the attack and later died, is located directly across the street from the Theatre.

George Washington Masonic Memorial
(703) 683-2007
101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA 22301
Guided tours available daily at 10am, 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3pm
No admission charged

The Memorial is located in Alexandria, just a few miles form Mount Vernon. It stands atop Shuters Hill on King Street. This memorial was built to honor George Washington, who is the pre-eminent member of the Masonic fraternity.

This memorial gives you a good view of Alexandria and the Potomac River, and it's free!

Gettysburg National Military Park
No admission charged; fees may apply to programs

This Pennsylvania battlefield site gives you a strong sense of the struggles that occurred in our nation during the Civil War. The battle that occurred here was a turning point in the Civil War, and was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War with 51,000 casualties. It was here that President Lincoln gave his most famous speech. Gettysburg is a two-hour drive from Washington, D.C. You can learn about the battlefield with a self-guided tour, through a park ranger or a hired tour guide. The park’s Visitor Center has a display of Civil War soldier artifacts.

Great Falls National Park
7am until dark; visitor center open from 10am-4pm
Admission Prices:

$3.00 Individual Pass. Good for three consecutive days for individuals coming into the park on foot, horseback, or bicycle.


$5.00 Vehicle Pass. Good for thee consecutive days for one vehicle, including motorcycles.


Contact 703-285-2965 for tour bus information.


This 800-acre park is just 15 miles from Washington, DC, in northern Virginia.


"A trading place. A place to fish. A canal and town. An amusement park. A place to discover nature. During the past ten thousand years, the Great Falls of the Potomac has been the location of all of these and more."


Visit the Park's website, here.

Hotel Washington Roof Terrace
15th and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC

During spring and summer (warmer months), enjoy lunch on the roof terrace at The Hotel Washington. It's a nice, relaxing way to view Washington, DC's downtown. You can even get a peek of the security personnel on the White House roof. The Hotel, built in 1917, is designed in a European style inspired by Italian Renaissance forms and is registered as a National Landmark.
Jefferson Memorial
(202) 426-6841
Open 24 hours a day, year-round
Park rangers are available 9:30am-11:30pm
No admission charge
The monument to our 3rd President, Thomas Jefferson, resembles the Roman Parthenon with marble steps, a portico and a high dome. The walls are inscribed with Jefferson's ideas and philosophies. The memorial and the nearby Tidal Basin are surrounded by Japanese cherry trees donated by the city of Tokyo in 1912.
Korean War Memorial
(202) 426-6841
Open 24 hours a day, year-round
Park rangers are available between 9:30am-11:30pm
No admission charge
The design of this memorial gives visitors a feel for what was faced by soldiers serving in Korea from 1950 to 1953. With 19 larger than life-size statues representing a squad on patrol, a long black granite wall with photographic images, and a Pool of Remembrance, the memorial provides a stirring tribute to one million and a half veterans who served in the Korean War.
The Library of Congress, Jefferson Building
(202) 707-8000
Congressional tours daily at 8:30am and 2pm; public tours, 11am
No admission charge

Home of the Congressional Archives, the Library of Congress consists of three buildings: the Adams, the Thomas Jefferson and the James Madison. The Jefferson Building is the most ornate of the buildings; public and congressional tours are conducted daily. The other buildings are open to the public and researchers

The lobby of the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress is ornate and remarkable. The Great Hall is constructed of white Italian marble with a stucco ceiling accented with 23 karat gold leaf. A tour of this building won't leave you disappointed!

Lincoln Memorial
(202) 426-6841
Open 24 hours a day, year-round
Park rangers are available 9:30am-11:30pm
No admission charge
A solemn remembrance of the legacy of our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, this is a must for Civil War buffs. It is located at the west end of the National Mall, and resembles a Greek Doric temple. Its 36 columns represent the states of the Union at the time of Lincoln's death. It has been the site of many historic gatherings and speeches, including 1963's "I Have A Dream" speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Monuments on the National Mall
(202) 426-6841
Open 24 hours a day, year-round
No admission charge

The National Mall, approximately three miles in length, bordered by the Potomac River and the U.S. Capitol on the west and east and Constitution and Independence Avenues on the north and south, boasts many well-known monuments.

Standing due east of the Lincoln Memorial, and the World War Two Memorial, you will find the Washington Monument, the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, the D.C. War Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, and the Korean War Memorial.

I recommend that you visit these monuments in the evening hours. There are fewer crowds, cooler temperatures and beautiful lighting.

Mount Vernon
(703) 780-2000
9am-5pm daily


Adult (12 Years and older) - $17.00

Senior (62 and older) - $16.00

Youth (6 - 11 Years) - $8.00

Child (5 years and under) - Free

Home and final resting place of America's 1st President, George Washington. During the time Washington lived here, Mount Vernon was an 8,000-acre plantation, which was divided into five farms; each was a complete unit. The farm where Washington and his family lived was called the "Mansion House Farm," and is the part of the plantation that we refer to today as "Mount Vernon." Washington inherited the property from his older half-brother, who named the property in honor of his commanding officer, Admiral Edward Vernon of the British navy.

The home of George Washington is wonderfully preserved and gives a "slice of life" view of one of our nations' most beloved Founding Fathers. It also depicts the framework from which one of our Founders emerged and how he approached the defining issues of the day.

National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (Smithsonian)
(202) 633-1000
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, VA 20151
10am-5:30pm daily; closed December 25
No admission charge, public parking fee charged; tickets must be purchased for IMAX theater
One of the most recent additions to the Smithsonian museum system - a companion facility to the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The space provided in the Boeing Aviation Hanger in Chantilly, Virginia, thousands of aviation and space artifacts that could not be exhibited in the D.C. building are on display. It features three levels with aircrafts hanging from an arched ceiling. Exhibits include the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the Boeing Dash 80, the Enola Gay, the Mobile Quarantine Unit used by the Apollo 11 crew, the Gemini VII space capsule and other aircraft.
National Gallery of Art
(202) 737-4215
10am-5pm, Monday-Saturday; 11am-6pm Sunday
No admission charge

One of the nation's premier art galleries with two halls--one devoted to classic painters, and the other with more modern works. The collection began in 1937 with a gift collection from financier Andrew W. Mellon. That collection formed the nucleus of one of the world’s most outstanding galleries. In the West Building, you can find works from European masters like van Gogh, Cezanne, Monet and Rembrandt along with the only da Vinci on public display in the U.S. The East Building focuses more on modern and contemporary works.

In the West Building, paintings from van Gogh, Cezanne and Degas are within arm's reach (but don't do it).

National Zoological Park (Smithsonian)
(202) 673-4800 (24-hour recording) or (202) 673-7800 (TDD)
Grounds 6am-8pm; buildings 10am-6pm
No admission charge; fee for parking
The National Zoo is more than just a place to see wild animals. In the heart of the nation's capital, you can see giant pandas, cheetahs, zebra, bears, monkeys and gorillas. More than 2,000 individual animals of nearly 400 species are on display, including giant pandas. Tian Tian and Mei Ziang; their cub, Tai Shan, who was born at the Zoo, was flown back to China in 2009. If you visit the Zoo in early morning hours before the buildings open, the animals are more active, and you can watch zookeepers feed and care for the animals. A couple of cafeteria/carry-out food service options are available; the zoo is located in an area with a number of nearby restaurants.
Skyline Drive
Shenandoah National Park
No admission charge
Part of Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive runs about 100 miles north and south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is the only public road through the park. With 75 overlooks, it gives you an opportunity to view wildlife and stunning views of the Shenandoah Valley. It takes about three hours to drive the entire length. You can hike Old Ragg, which can be fun for those who are moderately in shape.
Theodore Roosevelt Island
Park is open 24 hours a day, year-round
Three visitors' centers on the island are generally open from 9am-4:30pm
No admission charge
This wooded 88.5 acre sanctuary in the Potomac River is dedicated to our conservation-minded 26th President. Nature trails run throughout the island; hidden deep inside the island is a large memorial statue of Roosevelt. One of Roosevelt’s greatest legacies was his dedication to conservation. The island is only accessible over a footbridge from the Virginia bank of the Potomac River. No bicycles are permitted, but there are plenty of walking opportunities.
U.S. Capitol
(202) 224-6142 to schedule a tour through my congressional office
(202) 225-6827 Automated visitors' information line
9am-4:30pm Monday-Saturday (including federal holidays)

A favorite of several staff members, it is full of history and gives visitors a greater appreciation for our country's founding.

I am happy to provide Idahoans who come to our nation's Capitol with a tour of the building. Staff members are available by reservation for tours starting at 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. The last tour begins at 2:30 p.m. Please make arrangements at least seven days in advance of your visit.

The U.S. Capitol Guide Service also offers tours. You can book a tour online at Visit The Capitol or you can pick up same-day tickets at the Tour Kiosks at the East and West Fronts of the Capitol. Tickets are handed out daily and cannot be reserved. Tours operate Monday through Saturday, 9am to 3:30pm. Please be aware of security guidelines and prohibited items in the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
(202) 488-0400
No admission charge, but free tickets are required. Can be purchased online for a small transaction fee.
During World War II, approximately six million Jews were murdered by Nazi Germany and its collaborators. The Holocaust Museum is America's memorial to those who were killed. Its goal is to stimulate visitors to confront hatred, prevent genocide, promote human dignity and strengthen democracy. Carefully-crafted exhibits carry stark reminders of what happened during the Holocaust. While this is a somber museum, it is an educational and personal experience that is unforgettable. Children's programs are available, along with a special exhibit directed at younger visitors.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
(202) 426-6841
Open 24 hours a day, year-round
Park rangers are available 9:30am-11:30pm daily
No admission charge

"The Wall" is a somber tribute to those men and women who gave their lives during the Vietnam War. It honors those who died by listing their names on the Memorial Wall, a sleek expanse of black granite that sinks into the ground in a V-shape. The award-winning design by Maya Lin was selected from nearly 1,500 entries. Items are frequently left at The Wall by family members, friends and comrades of those who served in the war. You can locate specific names on The Wall through a directory placed at the west end of the memorial.

Nearby are two additional statues: The Three Soldiers and the Women’s Memorial that honor contributions made by those who fought in the Vietnam War.

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Last updated 10/27/2014